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How should I Classify This Employee: California

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  • How should I Classify This Employee: California

    I operate a small automobile repair shop in Northern California.

    I have just hired a mechanic who will also help run the shop by answering the phones and dealing with customers. I will not pay him hourly or for the work he completes - he will be paid a weekly salary.

    Do I classify him as exempt?
    Is he entitled to overtime?

    I usually close the shop for two weeks - one week in July and one week in December - every year. I don't pay our hourly employees during this time, but do give them each $100 per day we are closed regardless of their hourly wage. Can I give our new salaried employee this same benefit, or do I need to pay him his salary?


  • #2
    I don't see him as exempt either.

    You CAN pay him a salary, but California law requires you pay nonexempt employees no less frequently than semi-monthly.

    Also, you still must pay overtime. Is there some particular reason you wanted to pay him on a salaried basis? "Salaried" and "hourly" are merely pay methods.
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    • #3
      I matched the salary he received from his previous employer - he was paid a yearly salary.

      I pay every 2 weeks.

      Given this, and if he i choose to classify him as non-exempt, do I break down his yearly salary into an hourly rate and pay him for the hours he works?



      • #4
        Just to be clear, you can not "choose" to make the employee Non-Exempt. The employee per the federal (FLSA) law is Non-Exempt until and unless you can prove otherwise. And based on what you have said, you cannot.

        You have to pay at least minimum wage ($8/hr in CA) and you have to pay overtime under CA OT rules. Both of these legal requirements mean that you must keep track of actual hours worked and make sure that you are complying with these laws. Past that, you can pretty much come up with pretty much any pay scheme you want as long as you follow these rules. Hourly payment basis is far and away the easiest method to use, but this is your choice.

        Not your question, but not all employers are under the same rules. For example, a mechanic working for an auto dealer is not subject to overtime (per federal and CA law) while the exact same mechanic doing exactly the same work for a auto repair shop is subject to overtime.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


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